Two camps. Two paths. They say that’s all there are.
The low road and the high. Lovers v. haters.
And hate it or learn to love it, no one gets out. Everyone has to decide.
Which way will I go?
The way of the world or the way of the Lord?
We hear of these all our lives and we think we know which one’s good and which is bad.
But it’s not so easy, is it? We’re all in these cages always trying to figure out which way we’re headed, and which way others are going. It’s part are the way God made us. And part is our own making.
Haters wound, thinking they’re loving and that can become part of your cage. But their light is darkness, and as one of the “corrected” I can promise you, they don’t know the truth. And many people need to get free of folks who call hate love. Their ignorance is responsible for much that’s wrong in the world.
Still, they’re human. And they don’t always realize how their words sound. They don’t get how simply opening their mouths can shut someone else’s. And they don’t know all the people they’ll never hear from, never know, never set free because they think they have things all figured. Makes you wish they’d wonder what others sound like some time, doesn’t it? Don’t they want to know?
I guess I’ve been “corrected” quite a bit. But the stink of it is, any reaction from us only proves them right. It’s just like their shock over your new image—it serves to prove you right. But see, it doesn’t mean you are any more than it means they are, and swallowing each others’ scorn, it only makes each side stronger.
So I guess I don’t know where that leaves us. It seems you may fight and blow it off for many years. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to hold onto you with so many people thinking they have a right to you. I think God preserves my relative obscurity as a gift every day.
But don’t let anyone tell you Jesus would ever give anyone a thumbs down.
People can judge all day long. But not him.
He knows hating does no good. And he’s all about doing good.
Unfortunately, people aren’t. Jesus did a whole lot of stuff we can’t. He said don’t resist what you call evil. And for the life of me, I can’t manage that, though I try. I do know when you do, you see what evil really is—just goodness inside out, some love that lost its way. Truth gets twisted. Beauty sullied. There’s no evil without first good. God made it all good and it got all screwed up but we don’t need to fear this. It’ll be all good again someday.
But for now, all we need to know, all you need to know is that the power in us is God-breathed. It’s put there in our tongues and in our words and it’s the very power of life and death.
“Judge not lest ye be judged.” Jesus said that one too, though we argue it away and say it doesn’t mean not judging people.
“Correcting” in love is usually a sham because what’s loving to the person you’re correcting? What feels loved, seen, known? No one really knows. We know love isn’t a feeling but a decision, but Jesus never asked us to be other people’s conscience. He asked us to get in their shoes and walk a mile. And he said to let the blind lead the blind into a pit.
He knows who’s right. I’ll let him sort it out. But here are some ideas I’ve got:
1. Maybe we need to struggle to need him. Maybe that’s the only way we realize we need him?
2. When you stand in authority, someone always wants to knock you down. But kneel in powerlessness and suddenly no one’s left to judge.
3. I don’t know how many people it will take rebelling against God because of “God’s people” before his self-proclaimed defenders finally surrender, but just remember: God never asked us to deny people their freedom. He told us to set people free.
4. Spend as much time as you can imagining all that’s possible when we finally know even in all our “sin” how Jesus not only defends us and lets us off the hook, he sees and affirms us exactly as he made us.
5. If grace is what saves us, may we affirm everyone’s right to experience it. I agree with ending all restrictions on what Jesus made free because his sacrifice was good enough.
6. It’s not our job to save anyone, to set ourselves apart, or do any of the works faith requires. That’s his job. And he does it very well.
And even if you don’t agree and you still hope for a win between the camps, I hope it’s okay if I give up for you and say thanks for all you did to help me see my need to. I’ve needed to surrender to his free-love anarchy more fully. I don’t give up in hopes of anything changing, though I will pray for an end to all restrictions on those who must be allowed to speak without judgment, prejudice or discrimination.
And just remember he says, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.” Rest is not selfish, not what selfish people do. Rest is what you’re made for, next to him and in him and him in you and not ahead or behind or in fear or control.
Everything’s his doing. Give him back your everything and be truly free.
Freedom isn’t always an easy place to live. But there’s nowhere safer.